What you need to know
- Instagram is expanding its test to hide likes to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
- It began testing this feature in Canada back in May.
- The new feature is an effort to make people focus on content and not the number of likes they get.
Instagram has been flirting with a new feature that would hide likes from everyone except the poster. When enabled, the total number of likes on your photos and videos will be hidden from the main feed, profile and permalink pages. Only the owner of the account will be able to view the total number of likes.
It first began testing this in Canada back in May, but now it is expanding it to more countries, including Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
The test comes in response to the ever-growing pressure to accumulate likes on your content and the negative impact it can have on your mental health. Study after study has shown that increased social media usage can lead to depression. That's a statistic Instagram and other social media platforms are working on fixing.
According to an Instagram spokesperson:
We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.
Another aspect Instagram has been tackling to make the platform less toxic is to reduce bullying. On July 9, it began rolling out an AI comment feature which would warn users when a comment could be considered harmful. During testing, Instagram found that this warning would often cause users to rethink their comment before posting.
Instagram has also been testing a Restrict mode for bullies on the platform. When a user is restricted, their comments will not be made public unless approved by you, but the restricted user will still see them. Restricted users will also not be able to see when you are active or if you've read a direct message or not. This will allow you to essentially block a user without causing a conflict, in case it is someone you know in real life.
A few good Kindle books can help you get through these tough times
One of my favorite pastimes in good times or bad is to curl up on the sofa with a good book, preferably on my Amazon Kindle. Here are some of the stories that have been distracting me over the past few weeks of lockdown and social isolation.
Top 6 things Google needs to add to Chrome OS to compete with Windows
Chrome OS has gotten pretty good in recent years — especially for tablets and touchscreens — but there’s always room to improve. Here’s my wishlist for my favorite lightweight laptop ecosystem.
Amazon Echo Frames review: Alexa comes for your eyes and ears
When I reviewed the Amazon Echo Buds in late 2019, I commented that they were a solid first attempt to help get Alexa out of the house and make her more useful on the go. The Echo Frames, which were announced at the same time as the Echo Buds, are the latest of Alexa's steps into the wider world. I'll tell you what I thought of them after my first few days with them.
Use these messaging apps to keep up with your friends and family
With all our phones can do these days, communicating with them can sometimes be forgotten in lieu of games, videos, and practicing your selfie game. Get back in touch with your friends and family with these messaging apps. And some of these include some of those games so you can play along with whoever you're messaging.